Don’t settle for the “but it’s hot outside!” line. Your kid cannot be cooped up inside all summer in the air conditioning. You need to encourage them to get outside and be active. Here are some tips from The Sneaky Chef on how to get your kid to be more active:
Wondering what types of benefits you can expect when you get your little couch potato moving again? For starters, cardiovascular endurance. It strengthens the heart’s ability to pump blood, which fuels the muscles—and the brain. Plus, it burns lots of calories! And Strength: It develops muscles so kids can exert the power they need to be effective every day. It also increases kids’ metabolism (meaning they burn more calories while resting), helping them avoid injury. Balance: It controls the body’s position when stationary (like when in a handstand) or when moving (like on the balance beam), which helps concentration and assists kids in doing everyday activities.
Flexibility: It allows kids’ bodies to move in an extended range of motion, helps avoid injury, and relaxes them. And the list goes on!
Equipment Every Active Family Should Have
Having these items available will ensure that your kids have the equipment necessary whenever they need it, so no more excuses! Stopwatch, jump rope, mini trampoline, pogo sticks, sidewalk chalk, hula hoops, balls, stability ball, hacky sac, bikes and scooters.
Sometimes the less you say, the more of an impact you make. Keep some simple fitness tools around the house and let your children “discover” them. Leave a mini-trampoline in the TV room and see how long it takes them to bounce during their favorite show. Hang a stopwatch in the garage and see how quickly they start timing how fast it takes them to run up and down the driveway. Really, you can’t get sneakier than that!
Limit Screen Time
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you limit the time your child spends in front of a television or computer to no more than 1 to 2 hours a day. The best way to make that happen? Plan what you and your child will watch ahead of time, and limit your own time on the couch. Little monkeys see, little monkeys do!
Importance of Sleep
Not only will it be hard to motivate bleary-eyed bodies to move, but a lack of sleep wreaks havoc on hormone levels, which in turn can lead to weight gain. A good night’s sleep also keeps kids healthier and motivated to work out.
We know you’re busy. We are too. But when your child asks you to go outside to throw a ball around or for help building a fort in the backyard, take them up on their offer. Chances are, you’ll get many more like it.
It’s Not All-or-Nothing
even 10 minutes of exercise makes a difference! Sneak exercise “in the cracks” and you’ll be amazed at how it all adds up at the end of the day. Small changes mean big benefits!
About the Author
Missy Chase Lapine is best known as the creator of the wildly successful Sneaky Chef series of books, including her first, a New York Times bestseller, The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals (Running Press, April 2007). Missy’s second book, The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man in the Kitchen, was published in April 2008, helping to lower cholesterol levels across the nation. Her third book in the series, The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue(April 2009), was inspired by her passionate readers and their special requests. Missy’s latest innovation, Sneaky Fitness, (co-authored with fitness expert Larysa DiDio) cleverly instills the love of movement and fitness in kids. It hit the shelves in January 2010, and has topped children’s fitness lists. The Sneaky Chef and Sneaky Fitness books have inspired not only families around the country, but have established a whole new healthy eating and lifestyle brand category. Missy actively engages the public through her state-of-the-art consumer friendly website, www.TheSneakyChef.com and answers all inquiries from her readers and fans directly.